For an Eberron DM or player, the only thing better than the mystery of Eberron's conniving NPCs is that startling moment when their closeted truths become revealed. Could your campaign use a few whispered confessions, or a few scandalous proclamations, to shake up its dramatic landscape? Well, you're in luck. The theme of today's adventure hooks is shocking admissions. Enjoy.
For Want of a Signature
For four long years only Simas Rolf, a clerk at Thronehold, has known the truth: that a simple clerical oversight has prevented the nation of Mror Holds from being formally admitted to the historic Treaty that ended the Last War. Shocking! In official legal circles that means the Mror Holds doesn't exist as a nation, which could spell disaster if Mror's enemies find out and invade the borders of the unrecognized territory. Simas contacts the PCs with a cryptic letter urging them to come to Thronehold as quickly and quietly as they can, promising a special favor if they can help. As soon as they arrive, Simas tells the heroes that since he can't fetch the signature himself, he needs them to run a series of documents to one Jakil ir'Wynarn for her crucial signature. Getting that signature may be difficult, however; Jakil turns out to be off on a diplomatic mission to Valenar and will be surrounded by elven dignitaries.
Can the PCs get the signature Simas needs before someone learns the truth? Might the Aurum's spies -- or a lurking mind flayer villain -- have caught wind of the oversight? What will the dwarves of the Holds do -- and whom will they blame -- if they find out? Might they even go to war?
Of the Wagging of Tongues
Notorious gossip-monger Salacious Sowla has spread rumors about Sharn's dignitaries and celebrities for over twelve years in her column at the Hightower Gazette. A crotchety hag and Sharn institution, she prides herself on being the first name in the world of scandal -- but the Gazette's readership has been in decline, and no other paper has accepted her offer of service. That's why she's cooked up some news of her own -- her announcement of her own scandalous confession, promised in last week's Gazette. If all goes according to plan, rag columnist Salacious Sowla will in two days admit to being the mother of one of Sharn's young elite, a shocking turn that will turn her own life upside down -- not to mention the lives of the child and the father, if it's true . . .
And it is, which is why the heroes are suddenly in contact with a Mr. Dorus Garbecker of a well-to-do neighborhood of Sharn, and his well-thought-of son Elliod.
Will the PCs help Dorus and Elliod silence Salacious Sowla? Will Mr. Garbecker supply a bribe to buy Sowla out, or will that not be enough? What might the Hightower Gazette's editor, Argrus Two-Fist, have to say about the matter? What got Mr. Garbecker involved with Sowla toward the end of the Last War?
It's Not Always Good When Siblings Share
A PC receives a letter from his or her mother in the form of dictated magic mouth messages attached to a series of small ornate stones. The stones are bundled with another, separate, written letter. The magic mouth on each stone works in a certain order once unbundled and says the following overall:
"My dearest son, how fare you? Have you found exciting adventures? I -- well, this stone holds only a short message; I must be brief.
"We treasure both you and your loving sister, who travels the world doing her paintings. You bring honor to the family. But your sister is. . . .
"We've found out that while seemingly exploring her art, your sister has actually been studying -- I dare not use the word villainy -- how about invention?
"It involves mystic rituals and starry alignments too awful for your old mother to conceive. We're afraid for what she might do, son.
"She writes that it's something to do with -- demons, in the Shadow Marches, and some event or prophecy she wants to come to pass.
"Please help, son. She must be out of her mind, possessed, or something worse --! We've sent along her letter. Time is of the essence!
"Your father says hello. Send my love to the rest of your friends. I love you -- goodbye!"
The magic mouth spell ends, and only the parchment letter from the PC's sister remains to be opened.
You Knew One About Changelings Would Show Up!
The newly appointed head legislator of your campaign's main city, Jonn Hodrin, has announced that he is not human. He is actually a changeling, he said during yesterday's press conference, and he proved it by transforming briefly into a female half-orc and back. He also announced sweeping reform to the city's laws regarding changelings, including using his powers to reduce the sentence of anyone currently imprisoned for "illegal shapeshifter impersonation."
Thing is, local reporter Plazzl Sweetblossom doesn't believe him.
Plazzl, a suspicious young gnome working the investigative beat at the local paper, recruits a selection of well-recommended heroes to help her investigate Hodrin and his claim. Could Hodrin be some other sort of shapeshifter, such as a doppelganger or rakshasa? Could the real Hodrin be tied up somewhere, while this changeling impersonates him? Finding the truth may require tracing Hodrin's roots back to his birthplace in your favorite far-off town. Or is Plazzl looking for facts that aren't there, either due to a bum hunch or the malicious desire to unseat an innocent changeling activist?
Here are some shocking admissions mini-hooks to get your DM creativity started.
- The heroes' patron discloses to them her draconic ancestry.
- A shifter rogue claims to have been part of a pact with two important figures, implicating them in a dark conspiracy that connects with the devastation of Cyre.
- A murder suspect confesses, but the one he loves comes forward and contradicts his confession by admitting her own guilt.
- A series of letters is discovered that gives evidence that Baron Elvinor Elorrenthi d'Phiarlan of Aundair (page 144 of the Eberron Campaign Setting) and a now-dead kalashtar Keeper of the Word from Adar (page 221 of the Eberron Campaign Setting) were secret lovers over two hundred years ago.
- A centuries-old dragonmarked man is not elvenkind as he claimed, but something much darker.
- The nation of Thrane announces that it has continued creating warforged in the four years since the Last War, in open opposition of the Treaty of Thronehold.
- A desperate young halfling begs for the PCs' help, revealing that he is the thief the Brelish army is looking for.
- A girl in the employ of King Kaius III is murdered on her way to betray his dark secret.
- A noted public official comes out in favor of forbidden practices he learned from a Blackscale lizardfolk tribal chief.
About the Author
Doug Beyer spent a lot of time getting philosophy degrees until he figured out that he should just move to Seattle and become a web developer for Wizards of the Coast. Now he spends his days working on games and his evenings playing them. Doug uses the time normally allotted for sleeping to lurk on the Wizards.com message boards as his alter ego, WotC_Doog.